nichollsSam Turner gives us his top tips at Taunton and Warwick on Thursday as he attempt to continue his cracking form with his best bets.

Birds Of Prey (Taunton, 2.35)

BIRDS OF PREY is not one of Paul Nicholls’ leading lights but has some ability that hopefully will come to the fore with the application of cheek-pieces for the first time.

The two-time Irish flat winner took a few runs to get going for new connections but came good over course and distance in March on soft ground and followed up two weeks later on better going. Unfortunately, he couldn’t back up those victories in a £61,000 Sandown handicap when the drop back in trip didn’t help although it was a respectable effort.

Rested and back in action 53 days ago, the selection again failed to shine over the minimum distance, whilst also finding the company too hot.

It looks a wise move at this stage of his career to return to his winning distance of 2m3f back at Taunton and, with the first-time aid to sharpen him up, Birds Of Prey can show what he is made of.

Get 5/1 Paddy Power

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Firak (Warwick, 12.50)

FIRAK will likely make into a decent chaser and shaped with promise on his debut for the Skeltons at Chepstow in late October.

A winner of an Irish point-to-point, he was made to look a little one-paced in the near two and a half-mile race won by warm favourite Severano (winner again since) but kept on going to record a reasonable speed figure.

He looks an out-and-out stayer and should appreciate today’s extra yardage whilst also coming on for the Chepstow outing.

Get 10/3 @ BetVictor

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Maire Banrigh (Warwick, 1.20)

MAIRE BANRIGH seeks to defend her 100% record since wind surgery back in January, 2018.

Connections have been patient with the mare who cost a hefty £320,000 but at last, she seems to be over all her problems. Impressive on her chase debut in October she has since lowered the colours of the then 151-rated Thomas Darby and rates a progressive horse. It will be disappointing if she cannot handle this step in class despite the extra distance.

Get 11/10 Unibet

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SAM TURNER’S BEST BETS

Birds Of Prey 1pt ew (2.35 Taunton) 5/1 Paddy Power

Firak 1pt win (12.50 Warwick) 10/3 BetVictor

Maire Banrigh 1pt win (1.20 Warwick) 11/10 Unibet


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